Living in a society where looks have become easy avenues for criticism can be extremely stressful and upsetting. These days, people are always criticized for failing to look a certain way or for not having a specific body type. With all the pressure society puts on people in terms of their physical appearance, one is expected to be overwhelmed very quickly, and that’s normal. We’re human, and humans are sensitive.
However, in my opinion, appearance ought to be the last thing people should use against anybody. No one has control over what they look like, and no one has the power to pick his or her own physical features. Everybody was uniquely created, but it’s unfortunate that many people still battle with loving and embracing their bodies just as they are.
To move forward from the struggle of not loving the body you find yourself in, carefully read through and practice the simple 5-step guide I have put together for you.
- Accept your body
Acceptance is the primary step towards developing true and genuine love for your body.
Whether you are tall, short, fat, skinny, white or black, you have no other choice but to accept your appearance just the way it is, because as much as you try, you can never run away from it. (Except you are the reason why you look a certain way, perhaps you eat unhealthily or you’re not taking care of your skin etc.), then you just have to accept your body exactly the way it was created. Be acquiescent to everything it’s made up of; every scar, every mark and every flaw.
Many people aren’t satisfied with what they look like because it doesn’t meet up to what society sees as an “ideal body”. They feel they’re too plump, too slim, too dark, too pale, too this and too that. I am a victim of this myself, as I have complained about one or two things about my body in the past. But with time, I learned to let go of the criticism, and you can learn to let go too. Stop looking for ways to modify or hide your true self because you want to look ‘perfect’. That is not acceptance, that’s rejection.
- Remind yourself that you’re beautiful.
Society has its own definition of beautiful, but in order to learn to love your body, you have to make yourself your own definition of beautiful. You have to completely ignore what society says, and make what the public thinks about your appearance completely irrelevant. (Except it is constructive criticism)
Everything starts from your mind. As a man thinketh, so is he. Remind yourself everyday that you are beautiful. People may tell you otherwise, but that should not matter. The opinion you have of yourself should come before anyone else’s. Don’t waste time staring at pictures of models and feeling insecure; not everybody was created to look like a model. You were created to look like YOU.
Make it a goal to constantly remind yourself that your body is gorgeous, and don’t just say it, mean it.The moment you humbly believe that you’re beautiful, you’ll begin to radiate confidence and develop more self-assurance.
Most importantly, any influences in your life that constantly tell you to get a particular type of body must be completely shut out. As a person trying to love his/her body, you certainly do not need that kind of negative energy around you.
- Don’t feed on likes and complements
I’m afraid that there might be people who literally determine how beautiful they are according to the amount of likes and comments their pictures get on instagram. That is, people now live off nice complements from others; it’s basically what keeps them going.
Don’t ever look at people’s remarks and complements as an assurer that you are beautiful, because the moment you stop getting them, you will suddenly start feeling less of yourself. You do not need to be complemented before you begin to love yourself and your body. No man, or woman, needs to tell you that you’re beautiful before you believe it. Be your own biggest fan.
- Focus on what’s inside
Society creates an imbalance in life by placing so much emphasis on appearance and so little on what lies within.
I’ve met people who have worked more on their biceps than on the way they treat others. How flat your stomach is or how clear your skin looks should not be as important as the person you are on the inside, because that is what truly matters. Stop obsessing over your appearance and whether your body is good-looking or not. Your character, your attitude towards people, your values and your morals needs to be worked on first; everything else should be secondary.
An attractive person with a horrible personality is less desirable than an unattractive person with a great personality.
- As long as you’re healthy, that’s all that matters
Sometimes people get the whole “love your body just as it is” thing all wrong. You cannot be obese, anorexic or have skin diseases because you failed to shower everyday, and then willingly say you ‘love your body just as it is’. Your health is at risk and you have to do something about it.
Yes, healthy comes in different shapes and sizes, but it does not mean you should deceive yourself either. There are many physical states that are clearly not acceptable or healthy, and embracing a body that can put your life at risk is not self-love, it’s foolishness.
Likewise, loving your body does not also include inflicting pain upon yourself. My friend once wore a waist cincher to make her waist appear thinner, and she literally found it difficult to breathe or sit down, so I had to tell her to take it off. What good does it do to punish yourself, all in the name of “looking attractive”? There are much better approaches you could take to put your body in a better shape.
So ask yourself, is my current physical state okay? Am I causing harm to my body? Am I starving myself? Am I suffering unwarranted pain just to look a certain way? All that pain is not worth it one bit. Remember that you can always revamp the way you look by dieting, exercising and adopting a better hygiene. Do this in moderation too; don’t diet till you’re dizzy and don’t exercise until you pass out.
Trust me, there is nothing more satisfying and blissful than embracing your natural body. It’s a free world, wear whatever you like without holding back. Do not feed on just lettuce and water everyday; treat yourself to real good food. Take photos and show them to the world. Don’t lock yourself up in the house because you are fearful of what people have to say about your appearance.
Whoever is going to love you, will love you irrespective of whether you have a “perfect” body or not.
Learn to look in the mirror and be genuinely happy with what you see.